Annual reports of the officers of state of the State of Indiana online

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Por 36 years, 1

For 21 years, 3

For 14 years, 1

For 12 years, 2

For 10 years, 7

For 8 years, 2

For 7 years, 7

For 6 years, • • . . • 3

For 5 years, • II

For 4 years, 11

For 3 years, 15

For 3 years and six months, 2

For 2 years and six months, 2

For 2 years, • ^ . 65

For 1 year, 1

For I year and nine months, 1

For life, 8

Total, 142

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TiMBuma le.*

Skoaring the age if ammets at the tim* «f their canvktim.

Uo4er SO veius, »

Ffom 90 to 30 yean, t^

FVooi 30 to 40 jrcara, 3B

From 40 to SO yean, 16

FioindO.toeOytan, 10

Total '. I4S

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Indiaha Statb PBiaoNy Dbckmbke 1, 18S0. )

a W. Miuu, £04.,

Warden af ih^ hditma SMe P^i$on :

Sir : — Since the date of my last report relating to the Ileepital
affainof the Institution of whidi you are the Warden, I have to
record a greater mortality than for any year during fny lonff cob-
nectlon with the Prison as its Physician.* In the month of Jiuy that
avful scourge the cholera made a visitation and continued for six
weeks, a portion of which time its violence was as great as ever
characterized it at any point in this or any other country. Bcrfbtia
it left us ^veq^ convict was attacked with it in one form or otherp
and although about one-fifth of the whole number died, yet there
was severe! cases of recovery from the worst stages of the disease*
My great aim was to keep those who were attacked with the first
stji^es of the disease, from going into the lasU To tliis end I toiled
sight and day, and I hope with success.

The table in your report upon the subject, taken from the Hospital
register, shows the number who died of thtd disease and also the
mortality from othet diseases, which is about the average of former
years. For the last four months and at (bis time the health of tlie
convicts is good.

1 have no particolar sumestions to make in regard to the HosfMtal
anangement. The new Hospital, the building of which has been so
p«rseveringly prosecuted by yourself, and which has been so much
needed for the promotion of the comfort of the sick convict, is now
Dearly ready for occupancy. It is designed to can*y out arrangements
which I hope will greatly facilitate recovery from sickness in future,
particularly on the advent of diseases of an epidemic character.

The sntiiation of Physician to a prison is truly embarrassing and

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perplexing. Most of the convicts are the victims of idleness. Bat
few are disposed to labor, and their first attempts at the artifices, so
frequently practiced by them before thev are sent here, are made
upon the physicinn. Outside they would sooner steal than work,
now they must feign disease to avoid the sentence of the law. The
** old soldier," is ii game that all convicts soon learn to play, and it
requires the greatest experience in their ways to circumvent them
in their plan to palm themselves upon the '^Doctor'* as doubtfal
cases. My plan has always been to turn none away who apply to
mo for aid ami complain of * beintf sick. A tialf dr whole of a
day, however, iii the Hospital will test the genuineness of their
physical complaints, and of this time they have the advantage.
Humanity teaches that the test should be applied and that none
filiould be turned away even if one doubt the sincerity of the appli-

My iavariable practice is to apply the test and if I have my doubts
in regard to the matter, I resolve those doubts in favor of the con-
vicUK— if those are caueht once, the attempt to deceive is hardly ever
renewed. The class of feigned diseases are as Bumerods almost as
are the real ones, and it is a nice point sometimes to detect the true
from the false, i trust that I have tm^t erred i^iitst humanity in
my course with this unfortunate and misguided class of human be^
•iMf in tny .loo^' experience with their diseases.

1 could greaiiy extend this report with some interesting facts in
ngard to prison disciplie, and the treatment of the convict, gathered
(torn time to time during my relation to the prison* 1 may at some
fiuure time put those in shaj»e and present them for the consideratioa
of those wboee duty it b to legislate for the criminal The subjoined
tabid shows as U41ows:

No. of days lost, 1893

No. of admissions into the hospital, • • • • <7S

No. of deaths from cholera, JN

No. of deaths from other diseases — most of thfHfn of a
'* chronic character and long standing previous to com*

mitment, * 9

• JH gives .me great pleasure to say that I have had your co-operatiou
im any suggestions I have made, calculated to benefit the sanitary
N^tetiao of tte Hospital and Prison*



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D, W. mibr. Warden cf ikehdiana State Prison:

Sat: — AceordiDg to the requirtment of Iaw»I hereby submit to
yoa tbe foUowing report :

I entered upon the duties of Chaplain to the Indiana State Prison,
Sept. 5» 1850, with the determination to be the instrument in the
haads of God, of doing some good. During the time intervening
between the chaplain's last report, and the eommencement of my
duties, I can say good was done. He accomplished something, and
his name is kindly remembered by those, whom 1 have beard speak
of him. I trust he, also will report to you.

The better to accomplish the object for which the chaplain is
appointed, as many as possible under the circumstances, have been
personally conversed with upon the subject of religion. Believing
that the Bible is the great meanff by which reforms are to be success-
fully carried on in heart and life, immediate steps were taken to form
trible and religious classes. (And at this date, December 15, 1850,
two bible classes exist, and one class composed of those who have
openly professed a *' desire to flee the wrath to come.") The most
of those with whom conversation has been had upon religious sub-
jects seem anxious to become better men. The opportunities they
enjoy for mental and moral improvement, are probably as great as
could be expected under the present system — a system, however, far
from being perfect. Much more good mighf, doubtless, be accom-
plished, if the chaplain was required to reside at the prison, and de-
vote his entire attention to its inmates, during such hours as would
not interfere with the duties they owe to the lessee. Nights, until
bed-time and noons, as well as Sabbaths, could then be devoted to
them. The sick could be regularly large debts are not contracted, at
heavy rates of interest, or at a ruinous discount, then in case of a
general pressure, the worst that could happen would be a suspension
of the work.

But consider what would be the effect, if by a general monetary
revulsion, such a work should be arrested, while in the midst of its

. active operations, if burthened with the obligation to pay heavy rates
of interest, and at the same time, with no part of the work so far
finished, as to be susceptible of producing revenue. Extend this ex-
ample over the whole State, and what would we see, but the mate-
rials of these works brought under the hammer, the bonds pledged
to them disposed of at forced sales, to the consternation of the too
confiding occupants, and the tax payers of a subscribing county,
groaning under a burdensome imposition for the purpose of paying
the interest on a stock which pays no dividends. It is said, if a
limit is prescribed as to the sale of these bonds, or the interest that
they shall bear, that no sale can be made at any better rates or lim-
its. This is not true. It was not so in the sale of the State bonds,
during the progress of our system of internal improvements. There
was invariably a limit prescribed^ as to the interest the bonds should

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bear, and according to the reports of the Fund CommimoDers, gales
were made for less than the rates prescribedf and in many instances
a premium. But \rith all the restrictions that could be thrown
around the sale of our bonds, the State suffered greatly, and she will
not soon again lend her credit, or become interested in any works of
internal improvement.

We are now in the midst of the second history of internal im-
provements in Indiana, in which are involved a large amount of
Corporation stock of Counties and Cities.

It is a matter of but little difference, whether the State, Counties,
or individuals, are carrying on an enterprise, if the same fails or
turns out badly* it will equally affect the whole community.

All are alike interested in the welfare and prosperity of the State;
the adoption of a principle that is liable to be abused, and will work
to the injury of the one, will inevitably affect the other.

We have more than a million of County and City stock, in the
various Railroads of the State, and the prospect is, that the amount
\vill be lai^ely increased the coming season.

Whenever it shall become necessary, to carry on these works,
thai you have to place the credit of the Companies in the hands of
the money lenders, and the individual intrusted with the work, with-
out limit or restriction, that moment you will prostrate the credit of
the country. What will be the character of our State abroad when
Counties and Cities shall be driven in effect, to repudiate their obli-
gations and contracts?

When this takes place, you will find the dues of the State placed
in the same situation.

When a rate of interest is established by law, and when as with
us, the rate is high compared with commercial rates it is policy not
to permit exceptions to the rules except in extreme cases, and then
there should be a limit.

In the case under consideration, it seems to me, that public policy
points plainly to the enforcement of the rule within a given limit«
It might be safe, and even desirable, to permit the sale of bonds, at .
somewhat less than the par of State Bonds, of the same rate of inter-
est, but the experience of the State admonishes us that the discretion
in such cases should have its limits defined.

It is a remarkable fact, that in every instance that has come under
my observation, where the power is sought to be given to the direct-
ors of companies to borrow money, or make sales of Bonds, without
limit or restriction, that in the first instance, acts of Incorporation
have been passed by the Legislature, in which no such power is giv-
en, and that Counties ingoc^ faith have taken stock in said compan-
ies; that subsequently amendments have been made from time to
time, until now this unlimited power is asked. It is suggested with
great deference, whether the adding of this power, would not be a
violation of the faith upon which the people of the several counties,
in their corporate name, have heretofore taken stock in the various
companies of the State.

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It is said that the bill referred to does not authorize the selling of
the bonds of the counties, or the hypothecating of them at any rate
of interest, that may be agreed upon. While this is, perhaps true,
it is difficult for me to perceive the difference between giving the
power expressly, in relation to the bonds of the Counties, or making
the same unlimited power, applicable alone to the stock of the com-
pany, or bonds of the Counties ; or making the same unlimited
power, applicable alone to the stock of the Company, or theborrow-
inff of money. If you affect the stock by exorbitant interest, or
sell the bonds of the company at a ruinous sacrifice, it must affect
the County stock, as well as that of the citizen. All are connected
together for the welfare of the work, and the adoption of a princi-
ple that is calculated to injure the one, will injure the others. The
objection to this want of limit, in the rate of interest to be paid for
money borrowed, and in the sale of stocks, is, that it gives a power
which is liable to great abuse, and may involve the most ruinous
consequences. And I cannot but think that the Legislature in con-
ferring such a power, have failed to consider with the requisite matu-
rity, all the abuses to which it is liable. We know not who are to
hold the places of Directors of these Corporations, with the right
thus to offer in market the stock of the Companies, and to borrow
money. Prudence requires that we should guard against every pos-
aible state of things that may arise.

The internal improvement system was undertaken, with the too
confident expectation that the works to be constructed, when finish-
ed, would be productive and yield ample revenue to pay the interest
on the debt incurred in their construction. That it would impose
no burden of taxation ; on the contrary the system would confer
great benefits upon the State and relieve the people from the pressure
of existing burdens. With such expectations the obligations of the
State were issued and scattered broad cast in the market. Our ex-
perience of the disastrous consequences, is too recent and costly to
be forgotten. After the suspension of our public works in 1840, and
when the delusion had been dispelled by the unmistakeable fact, that
there was no way to resuscitate the credit and vindicate the faith of
the State, than by a resort to taxation. It was then that the mode
in which the obligations of the State had been sold was scrutinized,
and there was no sentiment more common than this, that we should
not pay anything on our bonds, for which we had not received the
money; and that we should only pay on the bonds sold, the amount
of which had been received. The transition from this sentiment is
rapid, to the following langui^e in the bill before us, **all sales at a
discount, the same shall remain as valid and binding, in every respect,
as if sold at par value.'*

It is proper, it seems to me, that we bring the question to this test,
and to assume that the people of the counties may be called upon to
provide for the payment of both principal and interest of their bonds
bv taxation.

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From the excitement on the subject of Rail Roads, and the unlim-
ited power that is now sought, by the Companies of the State, it
would appear that private credit is almost exhausted ; and it is now
asked to exhaust public credit as far as possible, by offering in our
public and deliberate acts of legislation, to pay any rate of interest
however large, and to sell in market our credit, for any price to raise

Whatever difference of opinion may exist as to limiting the rate
of discount on bonds, sold in the market, it seems to me, that there
should be but one sentiment, in regard to the limitation of the rate
of interest. '

Is it not possible that, in the over anxiety to secure the means for
the construction of a favorite work, the directors or agent, might be
induced to agree to such a rate of interest, as, not only to be suici-
dal to the work itself but by the destruction of public credit, to in-
volve all others in its ruins?

It is confidently believed, that no such policy has been projected
or fostered in any State of the Union. And I trust Indiana will not
be the first to set the example.

In addition to the above considerations, I. cannot but regard the
passage of a bill involving such important principles, on Uie same
day of its introduction, by repeated suspensions of the rules, and
without reference to a committee as an instance of hasty legislation,
which alone would justify executive interference.


January 8th, 1851.

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Doc. No. 8.] [Part. I .











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T^the Awdiiorof SMei

SkE: — Id conpliaocd with Um LiW under iK^ch 1 ain af
I htvDwith tniiwaiit a Report of my procMdingB as Superiatandnu
of tiia New Albaoy and VineeiBnet Road from the 37th of February »
1860t to the Slit October, I860, conieiaiaff an aceount of all meMfi
notived aad expended by me upon said ftoadt to*wit:

185a /oe/ Vmndew9r in mooomt wUh the SUM of MimM. Ar.

To amoont received of Michael Riley former Super-
intendent, * $S;2TT 70

To tolls received as per receipts from No. 1 to No.
50 inclasiYe, 4,684 50

Total Receipts, t6,Md 90


By amount expended as follows as per receipts No. I to No. 194


On account of Constmction, f8,7M 19

On account of Repairs, 3,404 72

On account of Contingencies, 6C3 80

On account of Damages, • 1 00

$9,059 71
Leaving balance on hand Nov. 1, 1850 $90S 49

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The amount included under the head of construction is principally
for the redemption of Scrip, and for the payment of a debt due the
New Albany Branch. The contingencies are chiefly for salaries of
gate-keeper, books, stationery, quarrying tools, blasting and powder,
full details of which have been forwarded to your oflice. One reason
why the contingent expenses are so laige is that when I entered upon
nw official duty as Superintendent of said road, I found it destitute
of tools necessary for repairing the same, I would also state, when
I entered upon my official duty, I found the road East of Blue river
in bad condition for travel, owing principally to the want of sufficient
funds to keep the same in repair through the winter, in conseqoenc^e
of which, it.was a difficult task to exact and collect the toll from the
traveling community. I feel safe in saying that owing to the bad
condition of the road has been the means of loss to the State — when
1 recollect that there is owing to the State from J. N. Easdiam pro-
prietor of the stage line. Whilst Mr. Riley was Superintendent
tiwithajfn got in arrearages to the amount of $439 16, ako behind
vaith me for Mardi last, $9S 40, making the sum of $5317 56, whfch
lie refuses to pay. Prom thence until now I have succeeded in col-
ieoliag^said toll* W hat course he will hereafter pursue I am unable to
tell, but can assure you that all lawful means will be used to enforce
the payment of toll until my term of service expires. I have used
my nest endeavors both east and west of Paoli in applying the mo-
ney appropriated for the repairing of the same — the road west of
FaoU is, now in good order for the reception of travel, the bridges
having all been repaired in worknian-like manner. One of the toll
bridges is completed and the building committee is collecting toll by
the same ; the other bridge is under contract and part of the mate-
rials paid for. In r^rd to the eastern or metalled part, through the
diliigence and perseverance of industrious men under my supervision,
has been put in sood order for the reception of the . traveling com-
munity* and willremain so unless there should be an uncommon
amount of rain. The travel upon the road has increased as the
amount of toll will show, and it is bound to increase or diminish
acoording to the condition of the road. Although the road is at this
time in a condition agreeable for the traveling community, yet I
most say that the amount of money appropriated for the repairing of
the same, is not sufficient to keep the same in sood order through
the winter season, and it is my humble opinion, tnat unless our L^-
istature wish to see the road go down and become a useless waste
of money, the amount of repairing the same should be increased for
some years to come. The bank debt in the New Albany Branch
has been considerably reduced, and I expect to pay the Imlance to
said bank on or before the first day of January next Should our
Legislature in their wisdom be so covetous as to apply the proceeds
of the road to the reparation of the same for a few years, (which I
think would not injure scrip holders as they or most of them have
purchased it greatly below par, and it is drawing six per cent, per

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BnuiD,) but be the iMUfl of iacTMsifig he IniTd, conMaoMlly the
rib, aod tberaby accimttlate nMans for the redemption of the same,
ihall now briitt my oommmicettoo to a doie wer lejriiig to you
kat you heTe, wben yoo raoeiTe this my ebetractt and Touchen ap
»theS8th of November, 1850, all of wbiGh I have cheerfull? trawh
littad to your honor— all of which I hope are oonect^if they are
ot and the error is in my fiiTor, I am willing to correct the same« if
niost me, I ask the same lenity as I am a poor man and wkdi to
Main a living by honest means, only with due respect for the Hon.

I subscribe myself your obedient servant,

JOEL VaNDEVEER, Superintendeni.
Orncx 9r SvPBMirreiinorT, Nov. 8, 1850.

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Doc. No. 9 .] [Part. I.




JAN.UART 1», 18»1.



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The Select Committee, to whom was referred a resolution of
the House, directing them to enquire into the expediency of making
an appropriation for the payment of the expenses of the Convention
DOW in session for the purpose of revising and amending the Con-
stitution of this State, and to report the probable amount necessary
to enable said Convention to complete the object for which it was
assembled, have had the subject under consideration, and directed
me to report:

That the Convention was called into existence by the qualified vo-
ters of this State, with the view to correct certain acknowledged de*
facts in the existing Constitution, and to deliberate of the propriety
of the reforms su^ested, about which a diversity of opinion pre-

Among the amendments about which there was little, if any, dif-
ference of opinion, the following are believed to be the principal:

1st. The election by the people, of all Judges, and of those chief
officers of State now elected by the Legistature.

2d. Biennial sessions of the General Assembly.

3d. The appropriation of all fines and forfeitures to the support
of Common Schools.

4th. Limitation of the legislative power in the creation of a
public debt.

5th. Suitable restrictions against the passage of laws of a local

6th. A re-construction of our Judiciary establishment, and some
provisions for the simplifying of our laws, and the mode of procedure
in our Courts.

Other amendments were advocated in some quarters, such as a
modification of our Grand Jury system ; to prevent the immigration

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to the State of free blacks ; to open to competition the business of
banking. But it is believed the foregoing embraces the principal, if
not all the subjects, in reference to which, amendments, revision and
reform, in the existing Constitution, were demanded.

In the canvass of 1849, immediately preceding the time when the
people were called upon to vote whether or not a Convention should
oe called, the reforms desired were extensively discussed from the
candidates for Governor down, and the committee feel a very confi-
dent assurance that none others beyond those above specified, were
submitted to the people. It was in reference to these reforms and
some others, that the people voted for the call of a Convention. The
Committee dare not say, that the Convention is strictly limited to the
consideration of these reforms and none other. Yet, doubtless it
should be an argument of ^reat weight to that body, that the people
had neither felt nor fancied any evils in the present system, beyond
those above indicated, until the Convention in its spirit of demolition,
had demonstrated its sense of the rickety structure under which this
people had lived insecurely so long.

The act providing for the call of the Convention, approved Jan-
uary 18, lo50, does not in direct terms limit the session of that body.
Yet in the opinion of the committee the inference is strong, and the
arguments abundant, that the Legislature which passed the act, never
contemplated a session beyond three months. The provisions in the
act appropriating $40,000 for the payment of the expenses of the
Convention, postponing the usual period of the meeting of the Gen-

Online LibraryIndianaAnnual reports of the officers of state of the State of Indiana → online text (page 12 of 40)